I write this post for those who may be facing choices. Many of my MS Forum friends have considered or gone ahead with adjustments to their disposal systems, namely bladder and bowels. It’s one year since I had a stoma and catheter. May I present a brief list to help others with their decisions.
1. The addition of a colostomy bag to your physique is no big deal. You will fart through it-a conversation starter perhaps?
2. It’s not the end for your bottom. It will still produce mucus. I call it bottom snot and use a pad. It doesn’t smell of anything. Is it comforting to know that you will not be carrying around a disused part of an old rail tunnel? It won’t grow moss.
3. Avoid diarrhoea. Imodium works well. Some tweaks of diet may help. I’ve found that muesli and bran flakes can be a bit naughty.
4. Carry spares. I have a man bag. Unfortunately, I can’t do that self-assured swagger of a gender-neutral modern handbagged flopsy haired man about town. One cannot mince in a wheelchair. Don’t forget an anti-bac hand cleanser.
5. If you are making something with chocolate and you have a sudden splurge, wash your hands before, during and after; especially if you need to continue working with said confectionary delight.
6. Be honest with other people.
1. There is now a tube in your bladder. It can go via your member or externally-supra-pubic. Either way, you have a tube.
2. It offers untold freedom. It takes one nightmare out of travelling. If the bag does fill up, it is easy to discreetly point your leg and empty it somewhere unobtrusive. No need to enter the fetid confines of a much-abused unwashed bus station-style public facility. See Finsbury Park or Kensington Olympia stations.
3. After emptying, clean the inside of the nozzle. I use a spray cleansing foam. Otherwise one may end up smelling like the aforementioned public lavatories.
4. The foam cleansing foam is a real help but try to avoid using in to clean the upper part of the mechanism where the internal tube meets the bag. Any moisture encourages it to pop out when least expected. A wet wipe is better if necessary.
5. I use a biggish plastic syringe to put some neutralising fluid into the bag via its outlet. A bleach solution or some vinegar and bicarb work fine. It doesn’t need much.
On a day to day basis, both are as convenient as sorting out the recycling. Well, that’s what it is, isn’t it?
I hope this helps.
Thank you for reading.